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Sackcloth 'n' Ashes

Album: Sackcloth 'n' Ashes
# Song Title   Time
1)    I Seen What I Saw
2)    Black Soul Choir
3)    Scrawled in Sap
4)    Horse Head
5)    Ruthie Lingle
6)    Harm's Way
7)    Black Bush
8)    Heel on the Shovel
9)    American Wheeze
10)    Red Neck Reel
11)    Prison Shoe Romp
12)    Neck on the New Blade
13)    Strong Man
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • 16 Horsepower: David Eugene Edwards (vocals, guitar, banjo, bandoneon, lap steel); Keven Soll (acoustic bass, cello, background vocals); Jean-Yves Tola (drums, background vocals).
  • Additional personnel: Gordon Gano (fiddle).
  • Recorded at Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Recording information: Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN.
  • On SACKCLOTH 'N' ASHES, 16 Horsepower wade through a murky world of old-time sin and redemption. The band creates a distinctive hillbilly-gothic sound with the help of various vintage and handmade instruments, and songwriter David Eugene Edwards' haunted, atonal vocals. Edwards--who plays, among other things, the bandoneon (an early twentieth century accordion) and the banjo--is backed by the military-style drumming of Jean-Yves Tola, and Keven Soll on a flat-top, acoustic bass. The musical result is one part country, two parts Julee Cruise--particularly on songs such as "Horse Head," which features Edwards' voice in a desolate, lo-fi guise, sounding like a keening Tom Waits in hillbilly country. Thematically, this is darkly religious territory, full of death-related imagery and stern spirituality, set against a finely tuned, grim sense of drama. 16 Horsepower seem to hail from a long-ago era, with a horse-and-buggy vernacular that includes lines like these from "Black Bush": "These are the great dust bowl days/Just take a gander round ya/Everything in a wicked haze."
Professional Reviews
Q (5/97, p.128) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...It's edgy stuff, carved in religious phraseology with God-fearing lyrics to match. A dangerously infectious view of the world."

Option (7-8/96, p.131) - "...this trio's got its country blues down stone cold."
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